The Columbus Crew is getting closer to having full capacity at games and made another big leap on Thursday morning. The club announced there will be multiple sections of the stadium for people that are fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus for the home match against Toronto FC on May 29. The penultimate game at historic Crew Stadium will also be Pride Night to go along with another giant step towards full fan attendance for future matches.
Tickets for the game against TFC will go on sale on Friday, May 21 and the Lower Sideline (Sections 109-112) and Upper Sideline (Sections 209-210) fully vaccinated sections will be sold at 100 percent capacity. Those who wish to sit in one of the full vaccinated sections will have to show their COVID-19 vaccine card and photo ID, proving they have been fully vaccinated against the virus. Fans must be clear from your second dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or BioNTech vaccine or a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson or Jansen, by May 15 in order to access a fully vaccinated section.
While this announcement is another step toward normalcy, all fans in attendance will still be required to wear masks throughout the match outside of eating and drinking. The club will also offer free Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines at the game. Fans will be able to get vaccinated from one hour before kick off until halftime.
The last match in Columbus that featured a full crowd was on March 1, 2020, when the Crew began that season at historic Crew Stadium against New York City FC. After the COVID-19 pandemic pause that halted home market MLS matches for five months, the Black & Gold returned to the stadium but to no fans in the stands for its Aug. 20 game against the Chicago Fire.
Much of last season’s home matches for the Crew consisted of 1,500 supporters who were all socially distanced and required to wear masks throughout the course of the game. Another wrench was thrown into the mix when the first two MLS Cup playoff matches consisted of no supporters as the COVID-19 pandemic numbers increased in Franklin County last November. Fans were allowed for the Eastern Conference Final and MLS Cup Final and have been in the stands for all home matches in 2021.
On Wednesday, the club took a different step towards normalcy allowing media members back at Obetz to watch the Crew train in person for the first time in well over a year. With Ohio’s health and safety orders being fully dropped on June 2, it’s possible to expect close to a full crowd for the last match at historic Crew Stadium and the first match at New Crew Stadium. The possibility is also strong that mask-wearing might not be required for vaccinated or even non-vaccinated individuals for those games and beyond.
The Crew returns to the pitch on Saturday to close out three consecutive games on the road against NYCFC at Red Bull Arena. Columbus hopes to break a two-game losing streak and win its first true road match in MLS play in over a year and a half.